Thank you for joining me for this exciting Author Spotlight!
Amy Clipston is one of my FAVORITE authors! And if you follow my blog, you know that because I’ve dedicated the entire month of August to her wonderful books! This is my very first marathon and I’m very excited about it!
First: A bit about Amy via her WEBSITE:
A native of New Jersey, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I often joke that my fiction writing “career” began in elementary school as I wrote and shared silly stories with a close friend. However throughout school, I only considered writing a hobby, and I never dreamt of being an author.
In 1991, I graduated from high school, and my parents and I moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. My father retired, and my mother went to work full-time. I attended Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, and I graduated with a degree in communications. I met my husband, Joe, during my senior year in college, a few days after my father had a massive stroke. Joe and I clicked instantly, and after a couple of months we started dating. We married four years later.
After graduating from VWC, I took a summer job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, which turned into an eleven-year career. I worked in the Public Affairs Office for four years and then moved into Planning as a writer/editor.
During that time, I continued writing for fun. It was something I did to escape stress and unwind. I didn’t share the stories with anyone except for a couple of close friends. In fact, I was even afraid to admit to my husband that I wrote.
Writing as a Career
One day while surfing the Internet for a professional editor’s group, I accidentally found a local fiction writing group, Chesapeake Romance Writers. I attended a meeting and I met writers in all stages of their careers. The group helped me realize that I did want to be an author, and it was my dream to see my name on the cover of one of my novels.
Through Chesapeake Romance Writers, I learned how to plot, write, and edit a novel, and I also learned how to pursue an agent. I signed with Mary Sue Seymour at the Seymour Agency in 2006, shortly before Joe and I moved my parents and our sons to North Carolina.
My dream came true when I sold my first book in 2007. Holding my first book, A Gift of Grace, in my hands was exhilarating and surreal.
My Amish Books
My Amish series include the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series and the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel Series. My books have achieved the Christian Fiction bestseller lists, including the CBA (Christian Book Association) bestseller list and the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) bestseller list.
I love writing about the Amish, and an Amish friend in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, reads my manuscripts for accuracy. I was always fascinated with the Amish when I was a child. I remember visiting Lancaster County, and my father, who was a German immigrant, told me that the Amish speak the same dialect of German as my relatives. I was drawn to their simplicity and faith. Due to my German heritage, I feel a loose connection to the Amish and their culture.
My plots come straight from my heart and all involve family issues intertwined with faith.
I’m a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. I work full-time for the City of Charlotte. My chaotic home includes my husband, Joe; two sons, Zac and Matt; mother, Lola; and four spoiled rotten cats, Molly, Rico, Jet, and Lilly.
My Memoir about my Kidney Donation
I’m an advocate for organ and blood donation. I donated a kidney on June 14, 2011, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through my donation, my husband received a second kidney transplant. My husband and I matched another couple and we swapped kidneys with them. I gave a kidney to my husband’s donor’s wife. I share our story in my memoir, A Gift of Love. Feel free to email me and ask me what it was like to be a kidney donor. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. If you’re healthy, please donate blood! Also, become an organ donor.
Are you signed up to donate your organs? – Tweet this!
Here is my interview with Amy Clipston:
Do you find that writing under a deadline takes the fun out of writing? How do you deal with that? Any special snacks you like to have handy?
Deadlines are tough for me, especially since I also work a full-time job and have school-age children. My family, however, is very supportive. My mom lives with us, and she keeps the house running smoothly so I can write late into the night and sometimes all weekend long. While I’m writing, I like to drink hot tea and sometimes Diet Coke. I try not to snack too much, but I often crave popcorn when I’m stressed. I also make time to work out. Working out helps me keep my ideas flowing and it also helps relieve the tension in my shoulders and neck.
You recently posted about having pictures of people to give your publisher an idea of how your characters should look… when you begin a book do you have a pretty good idea of what the characters look like or does that come to you as you write?
My publisher uses a marketing form to help design the cover. I’m very visual, so I always pick out photos of celebrities to use as models for the main characters (hero and heroine). Since the form is due before the book, I have to have the hero and heroine in mind before I start writing. I figure out the minor characters as I write.
Do you often put parts of your family into your characters? Have you ever based a character entirely on someone you know?
This is corny, but I often base the hero on my husband. I can’t help but give the hero some of his qualities. Also, I base children in the books on my boys. Logan, Whitney’s younger brother in Roadside Assistance and Destination Unknown, is based on my older son, Zac. He read part of Roadside Assistance, and when he read that Logan liked XBOX and Star Wars, he said, “Is Logan based on me!” I had to laugh because he could see right through it!
Do you have a folder or a file where you keep future ideas for stories?
Yes, I do. I keep electronic files with ideas.
I’m sure this is different for every author but are you allowed to give your readers a look at the general timeline for one of your books? From the time you finish writing to the time we have the book in hand?
My books are due to my editor one year before they appear on the shelves at bookstores or on websites for download. Approximately two months later, I receive the macro edit, which is the big story edit. This edit may require rewrites to the story, such as timeline, characterization, etc. I normally have a month to complete those edits. The next edit is the line edit, which is more detailed oriented. I also have a month to complete them. Once the line edit is complete, I’ll receive the final pages, and I am supposed to read it for typos. Big changes are not permitted with the final pages. I have a couple of weeks to read them and make any changes in red pen. At some point during the year, I also am able to see the cover, which is my favorite part.
As wonderful a read as your memoir about kidney donation was, I’m sure your fans would enjoy another… are you planning to write any other memoirs or a biographical-type book?
No, I don’t have any planned at the moment, but thank you for the compliments!
What are you working on right now? Can you give us a hint?
Yes, I’m working on the first book in my new Amish series. I can tell you that it will be a 4-book series set in Pennsylvania. I’m very excited about it. Book #1 will be released in November 2015.
Thank You Amy, for giving us your time and sharing a bit about your process! I feel like I’ve been sitting and chatting with a dear friend.
And now here’s a look at what we have to look forward to from Amy Clipston:
I was blessed to receive a look at Amy’s next book in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series. You can read my review by clicking below:
Don’t miss Amy’s NEW book – A Dream of Home. – Tweet this!
The next book in this series: A Simple Prayer will release next year.
Life has taken much from Linda Zook. Now she dares to hope for a chance at love and a new beginning.
Linda Zook, 32, works part-time at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. As the sole survivor of a buggy accident that left her orphaned at age four, she was raised by her unwilling Uncle Reuben. Linda longs to be worthy of someone, but the life-long effects of her injuries and her upbringing under the care of her embittered uncle have destroyed her self-worth.
Aaron Ebersol, 32, left the Amish community 17 years ago when he could no longer bear the restrictions or the constant tension with his father. He d written too many unanswered letters to his mother and found himself incapable of putting down any roots in his new home in Missouri. Success in work could not replace the family that denied Aaron, even after all of these years.
Aaron hastily returns to the Amish community of Paradise, PA, after receiving word of his mother s stroke. Hesitant to get too close to the family he was once a part of, he decides to stay at the Heart of Paradise Bed & Breakfast. He soon encounters Linda, working there part-time, and they begin to develop a friendship.
Aaron s return allows him to reconnect with his family as he jumps into home improvement projects, hoping to make his parents house more accessible to his handicapped mother. But before long, he is enraged to learn that his brother, Solomon, had hidden all of Aaron s letters to their mother.
Linda and Aaron must each learn to forgive the family members who have deceived and forsaken them. And Aaron must also show Linda that she is worthy of his love.
And Amy has another book coming in her popular YA series too!
miles from nowhere is scheduled for release next April!
Chelsea Morris has always been responsible, dependable, and focused on her dreams of fashion design a dream that will officially begin come fall, when she leaves for college in New York City. And as she settles into her role as the lead designer for the local summer stock theater group, she decides to make the most of her last summer in North Carolina. But with her best friend Emily busy working late and spending time with Zander, and tensions with Chelsea s boyfriend, Todd, running high, the summer she envisioned seems to be falling flat.
Then Dylan joins the latest summer production. There s something about the college boy that makes her feel free and alive, and soon she s broken up with Todd, and is sneaking out late to meet Dylan at parties and breaking rules at the playhouse. But before she knows it, her exciting nights are interfering with her job, her role on the play, as well as her relationship with Emily and with her parents. Worse, Chelsea finds herself feeling more and more estranged from God.
As the summer becomes wilder than she ever dreamed, Chelsea must decide if her heart is leading her in the right direction after all.
Miles From Nowhere is available now for pre-order! – Tweet this!
THANK YOU for joining me for this special AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!
And don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews –
I plan to dedicate next month to another of my favorite authors!
Check back on September 1st to find out who it is…
God bless you!
©Donna J. Mynatt 2014